The 15th Night of Sha’ban – A Moment of Supplication

Throughout the past fourteen centuries, our esteemed scholars have endowed the status and virtue of the 15th of Sha’ban through their actions and statements. Following their deep quest for the knowledge of the Qur’aan, Hadith, Tafseer (Commentary of the Qur’aan), and after contemplating upon their sincere connection with Allah سبحانه وتعالی and His Beloved Messenger ﷺ, they came to realize the value of this night. They saw it as an opportunity to detach one’s self from this distractive world, and connect to the remembrance of the Lord of the Worlds. They saw it as the mid-most night of a month that has been praised in its virtue and extolled in its blessings throughout the Ahaadith of Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ. A night in which every Muslim can strive to embark upon the path of rectification and attain a portion of utmost blessings and bounties.

The great companion of the Prophet ﷺ – Sayyidinaa Abdullah Ibn Umar رضی الله عنه – was known for being the closest in emulating every minute detail of the Prophetic Sunnah. He رضی الله عنه became known by this salient feature, whilst in the presence of his father Sayyidinaa Umar Ibn Al-Khattab رضی الله عنه, and the most senior companions who followed the Prophet ﷺ in the highest extent of Ittibaa’ (Obedience and Emulation). This great companion was so close in following the practices of the Prophet ﷺ, that his actions and statements have been utilized as supporting evidence in matters as high as Fiqh (Jurisprudence), to further clarify aspects of Prophetic Practice. This great companion tells us in a statement narrated from him رضی الله عنه:

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ: ” خَمْسُ لَيَالٍ لَا يُرَدُّ فِيهِنَّ الدُّعَاءُ: لَيْلَةُ الْجُمُعَةِ، وَأَوَّلُ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَجَبَ، وَلَيْلَةُ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ، وَلَيْلَةُ الْعِيدِ وَلَيْلَةُ النَّحْرِ

“There are five nights in which Du’aas are not rejected; The night of Jumu’ah (Thursday Night), the first night of Rajab, the midmost night of Sha’ban, the night before Eid al-Fitr,
and the night before Eid al-Nahr.” (Shu’b Al-Imaan)

The greatest scholars of the earliest generation recognized the value of this night as a means of Du’aa and supplication to Allah سبحانه وتعالی, and took it as opportunity to connect with their Lord and be forgiven in the vastness of His infinite mercy. The legendary scholar of Islam, and one of the four primary scholars of this Ummah – Imaam Ash-Shaafi’i رحمه الله – spent his entire life studying and mastering every field of knowledge that would enable him to reach a deep, holistic understanding of the Islamic tradition. He spent seventeen-years just on the language, grammar and linguistic essence of the Qur’aan, Hadith, and all authoritative Islamic texts. After his life-long study, and his observation of the pious predecessors, Imaam Ash-Shaafi’i رحمه الله stated:

إنَّ الدُّعَاءَ يُسْتَجَابُ فِي خَمْسِ لَيَالٍ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْجُمُعَةِ، وَلَيْلَةِ الْأَضْحَى، وَلَيْلَةِ الْفِطْرِ، وَأَوَّلِ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَجَبٍ، وَلَيْلَةِ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ

“Indeed, Du’aas are accepted in five nights; in the night of Jumu’ah, the night of Eid Al-Adha, the night of Eid Al-Fitr, the first night of Rajab, and the mid-most night of Sha’ban”
(Kitaab Al-Umm)

It is narrated that Sayyidah A’ishah رضی الله عنها saw the Prophet ﷺ praying in the night, supplicating at the graveyard of Baqi’, as this was the night in which Allah سبحانه وتعالی forgives his slaves in vast multitude, asking them: “Is there anyone seeking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone seeking provision from Me so I may provide for him? Is there anyone suffering so I may relieve his suffering?” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

Whilst there are certain evil traits that can deprive a person of acceptance and incur punishment at any given time, it is especially true of such virtuous nights. Thus, it is also narrated that the following people will be deprived of any benefit on this night:

  • Those who equate others with Allah سبحانه وتعالی
  • Those who possess hatred or rancor in their hearts for their fellow Muslims
  • Those who commit Zina (Fornication/Adultery)
  • Those who sever bonds of kinship with family relative
  • Those who violate the rights of their Parents.

May Allah سبحانه وتعالی protect us from ever being included amongst them and grant us the Tawfeeq (Ability) to avoid such actions.

إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةٍۢ مُّبَـٰرَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ ؛ فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ

“Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. Therein [i.e., on that night] is made distinct every precise matter” (Surah Al-Dukhan 44:3-4)

Some of the Mufassireen (Commentators of the Qur’aan), have opined that these verses contain an indication of reference to this blessed night of Sha’ban. They have commentated that the momentous task of the Qur’aan’s descension to the first heaven and beyond was initiated on the mid-most night of Sha’ban, and reached completion on Laylah Al-Qadr (The Night of Decree). Likewise, they offer the conclusion that the decree of the following year begins to descend from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooz (The Preserved Tablet above the Seven Heavens) on this night, after which it reaches the realm of angels and they are then briefed upon their duties, until the Decree is concluded by the Lord of the Worlds on Laylah Al-Qadr.

The Sha’ban of the Pious Scholars

Reflecting upon these points above, in addition to the vast corpus of Islamic texts, the pious scholars would maximize the benefits and acceptance of this night in a manner inspired by various Ahaadith of the Prophet ﷺ. They would supplicate – and teach others to supplicate – with a Du’aa formulated upon the various injunctions reported regarding this night, such as mercy, forgiveness, fulfillment of needs, prosperity of life etc., and likewise seek protection from the warnings transmitted in regards to those deprived in this night, supplicating via the correct manner and formation of Hamd (Praise) and Salawaat as instructed in various Ahaadith of the Prophet ﷺ.

Prior to supplicating, they would maximize their Du’aa by fortifying its acceptance through the Prophetic injunction of Surah Al-Yaseen, which is reported to be a means of Allah سبحانه وتعالی fulfilling the needs of its reader (Sunan Ad-Daarimi). They would formulate three intentions and place their hopes in the infinite mercy of Allah سبحانه وتعالی for their acceptance and fulfillment, reciting Surah Al-Yaseen once for each intention, followed by their Du’aa. Thus, they would adopt the following style of supplicating to Allah سبحانه وتعالی in this blessed night:

  1. Have sincere hope in Allah سبحانه وتعالی for the fulfillment of each intention,
  2. Recite Surah Al-Yaseen for each intention,
  3. Complete each recitation by making Du’aa to Allah.

Step-by-step Method:

  1. They would first recite Surah Al-Yaseen with the intention of being blessed with a long life in the obedience of Allah سبحانه وتعالی, thereafter supplicate with their Du’aa (which can be found below).

  2. They would then recite the second one with the intention of calamities being diverted, followed by their Du’aa.

  3. Then finally, they would recite the third one with the intention of being self-sufficient from people and being blessed with a virtuous death, followed by their Du’aa.

The Du’aa they would recite after each recitation of Surah Al-Yaseen is as follows:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ ؛ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنِ ؛ اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ وَ صَحْبِهِ وَ سَلِّمْ

اَللّٰهُمَّ يَا ذَا الْمَنِّ وَلَا يُمَنُّ عَلَيْهِ، يَا ذَا الْجَلَالِ وَالإِكْرَامِ، يَا ذَا الطَّوْلِ وَالإِنْعَامِ ؛ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ ظَهْرَ اللَّاجِئيْنَ وَجَارَ الْمُسْتَجِيْرِيْنَ وَأَمَانَ الْخَائِفِيْنَ ؛ اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ كَتَبْتَنِي عِنْدَكَ فِي أُمِّ الْكِتَابِ شَقِيًّا أَوْ مَحْرُوْمًا أَوْ مَطْرُوْدًا أَوْ مُقَتَّرًا عَلَيَّ فِي الرِّزْقِ، فَامْحُ اللّٰهُمَّ بِفَضْلِكَ شَقَاوَتِي وَحِرْمَانِي وَطَرْدِي وَإِقْتَارَ رِزْقِي، وَأَثْبِتْنِي عِنْدَكَ فِي أُمِّ الْكِتَابِ سَعِيدًا مَرْزُوْقًا مُوَفَّقًا لِلْخَيْرَاتِ، فَإِنَّكَ قُلْتَ وَقَوْلُكَ الْحَقُّ فِي كِتَابِكَ الْمُنَزَّلِ عَلَى لِسَانِ نَبِيِّكَ الْمُرْسَلِ: ﴿يَمْحُو اللهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِنْدَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ﴾ إِلٰهِی بِالتَّجَلِّي الْأَعْظَمِ فِي لَيْلَةِ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَهْرِ شَعْبَانَ الْمُكَرَّمِ، الَّتِي يُفْرَقُ فِيهَا كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ وَيُبْرَمُ، اَنْ تَكْشِفَ عَنَّا مِنَ الْبَلَاءِ مَا نَعْلَمُ وَمَا لَا نَعْلَمُ وَمَا أَنْتَ بِهِ أَعْلَمُ، إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْأَعَزُّ الْأَكْرَمُ

وَصَلَّى اللهُ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ الأُمِّيِّ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ وَسَلَّمَ

Translation: “In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate. All praise is due to Allah Lord of the Worlds. Oh Allah, send salutations and peace upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions.

Oh Allah! Oh bestower of favors who is not bestowed favor by anyone! Oh Possessor of Majesty and Nobility! Oh Possessor of Power and Bounties. There is no god other than You. You are the protector of those who seek refuge, and the supporter of those seeking assistance, and the guardian of those in fear. Oh Allah, if You have recorded me in the “Ummul Kitaab” (i.e., the ‘Lawh Al-Mahfooz’ The Preserved Tablet) as being wretched or deprived or cast out, or if You have recorded that my provision be restricted, then erase, Oh Allah – out of Your bounty; my wretchedness, my deprivation, my banishment and my restriction in provision, and establish me in the “Ummul Kitaab” as felicitous, plentiful in provision and endowed with capacity for good. For indeed You have said – and Your word is true – in Your revealed Book, on the tongue of Your Prophet ﷺ: “Allah erases and confirms what He wishes and with Him is the Mother of the Book.” Oh Allah! By your most exalted manifestation, on the fifteenth night of this ennobled month of Sha’ban – in which every decreed affair becomes distinct and fixed, we ask You to clear from us the tribulations we know of and those we do not know of, and those which You are most knowing of, for truly You are the Most Mighty, the Most Generous.

Oh Allah, send salutations and blessings upon our Master Muhammad and upon his Family and Companions.

May Allah سبحانه وتعالی accept us amongst those who will attain his pleasure and be showered by his mercy, forgiveness and acceptance on this night, and protect us from his anger and being deprived.

#21: As-Saabiqoon Al-Awwaloon: The Foremost Pioneers

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

The first three years of the Prophet’s ﷺ mission were the period of the secret call, wherein the Prophet ﷺ would individually call selected individuals to Allah  سبحانه و تعالی. This was a period of initiation and foundation, in which Allah  سبحانه و تعالی was preparing his beloved ﷺ and fortifying his mission with the purest of souls, who would form the special league of As-Saabiqoon Al-Awwaloon (The Foremost Pioneers).

Allah  سبحانه و تعالی decreed for this world to be a realm of magnitude, that which attracts each other and connects together, and that which repels and merges elsewhere. Beauty attracts beauty, purity draws on purity, and life connects with life, whilst darkness repels light and evil resists good. Thus, did Allah  سبحانه و تعالی attract souls of beauty to the physical manifestation of beauty in creation ﷺ, and draw the purest of souls to the one who was sent to purify this world. These blessed individuals would connect with the Prophet of Allah ﷺ, be drawn to the purity of Islam, and become illuminated with the light of Imaan, until they themselves would be the greatest torchbearers of this light.

They would be the first to be accepted for this Ni’mah Adheemah (Exalted Blessing) and the first to be led to the Prophet ﷺ. They would be the first to know Allah  سبحانه و تعالی, the first to know His Prophet ﷺ, the first to worship, the first to pray and amongst the first to die upon faith. They would form together to become the strongest supporters of the Prophet’s ﷺ mission and some of its greatest defenders.

These were individuals whose heart remained firm on the pure Fitrah that every human being is born upon, and were always averse to the traits of Shirk (Paganism) and Jaahiliyyah (Ignorance). Hence, the moment the words of the Qur’aan descended upon this earth, their hearts were the first to be drawn to its presence, by the will and grace of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی. Such blessed souls whom Allah  سبحانه و تعالی would honour with a timeless ode in the Glorious Qur’aan:

وَٱلسَّـٰبِقُونَ ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ ٱلْمُهَـٰجِرِينَ وَٱلْأَنصَارِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَـٰنٍۢ رَّضِىَ ٱللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا۟ عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّـٰتٍۢ تَجْرِى تَحْتَهَا ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدًۭا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلْفَوْزُ ٱلْعَظِيمُ

“As for the foremost – Emigrants and the Helpers – and those who follow them in goodness, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens under which rivers flow, residing in there forever. That is the Great Success” (Surah Al-Tawbah 9:100)

Sayyidah Khadijah  رضی الله عنها – The First Believer

The very first adherent to this beautiful religion of Islam was the blessed wife of the Prophet ﷺ, Sayyidah Khadijah bint Khuwaylid رضی الله عنها. Her beauty and purity drew her to the heart of the Prophet ﷺ fifteen years before Prophethood, and it would likewise draw her to what was revealed in his ﷺ blessed heart before anyone else. She was a woman of great nobility and dignity and held a persona of honour amongst her society. From amongst her many commendable traits was her unshakable faith and absolute support for the Prophet ﷺ – from the very first moment he ﷺ received revelation – all the way through the years of hardships that followed. From this moment onwards, she would spend the rest of her life standing by the side of the Prophet ﷺ, as his greatest partner and his ultimate source of comfort. She would give every last drop of her love, her wealth, her health and her strength supporting the Prophet ﷺ and his call to Allah  سبحانه و تعالی. In later years, Our Prophet ﷺ would remember her saying:

آمَنَتْ بِيْ حِيْنَ كَفَرَ بِيَ النَّاسُ، وَ صَدَّقَتْنِيْ حِيْنَ كَذَّبَنِيَ النَّاسُ، وَ أَشْرَكَتْنِيْ فِي مَالِهَا حِيْنَ حَرَمَنِيَ النَّاسُ، وَ رَزَقَنِيَ اللهُ وَلَدَهَا، وَ حَرَمَ وَلَدَ غَيْرِهَا

 “She believed in me when the people disbelieved in me, and she trusted in me when the people belied me, and she supported me with her wealth when the people would not, and Allah provided me with children through her and did not (provide children) from anyone else other than her.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Sayyidinaa Ali رضی الله عنه – The First Child

This pure and brave soul was drawn into the home of the Prophet ﷺ, and was being nurtured under his ﷺ care when his mission first began. He رضی الله عنه was thus guided to Islam when he was only ten years old, and became the first child to accept Islam. Over the next few years, he would grow through adolescence amidst the pure teachings of Islam, until he grew into a fine young man. He married the blessed daughter of the Prophet ﷺ – Sayyidah Faatimah Al-Batool Az-Zahra  رضی الله عنها – becoming his ﷺ son in law and giving him two beloved grandsons that would be the coolness of his ﷺ blessed eyes, and the leaders of the youth of Jannah: Sayydinaa Hassan رضی الله عنه and Sayyidinaa Hussain رضی الله عنه.

Allah  سبحانه و تعالی would raise him رضی الله عنه to become a brave hero of this Ummah, with a heart filled with absolute love for Allah  سبحانه و تعالی and His Beloved Prophet ﷺ. In the most climactic moments of the Prophet’s ﷺ mission, he would rise as the Lion of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی. His bravery and valour would lead him to become the bearer of the Dhulfiqaar – the greatest sword of the Prophet ﷺ.

A defining display of Sayyidinaa Ali’s رضی الله عنه bravery and complete trust in Allah  سبحانه و تعالی was shown at the time of the Prophet’s ﷺ migration to Madinah Al-Munawwarah, when he رضی الله عنه readily slept in the bed of the Prophet ﷺ to dupe the enemies who had surrounded the house, ready to attack any second. Despite the heavily armed soldiers and swords unsheathed around him, he slept with absolute peace and tranquillity, because the blades present in front of his very eyes meant nothing in comparison to his absolute trust in the words of the Prophet ﷺ who assured his safe exit.

The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said to Sayyidinaa ‘Ali رضی الله عنه:

أَنْتَ مِنِّي بِمَنْزِلَةِ هَارُوْنَ مِنْ مُوسَى إِلَّا أَنَّهُ لَا نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي

“You are to me in the position that Haroon was to Musa, except there is no Prophet after me.” (Tirmidhi).

Sayyidinaa Zayd ibn Haarithah رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Zayd رضی الله عنه was drawn to the home and heart of the Prophet ﷺ as a child from outside of Makkah. Allah  سبحانه و تعالی placed him upon such an adventurous journey, just so he could be present on this first-day of the Prophet’s ﷺ mission, and become the first freed-slave to accept Islam. He was nurtured by the fine mannerisms of the Prophet ﷺ, and followed in his blessed footsteps. Though society marked him with the status of a slave, the Prophet ﷺ loved him till he رضی الله عنه was marked with the status of being the beloved of Allah’s beloved ﷺ. Sayyidinaa Zayd رضی الله عنه would become a brave defender of Islam and a skilled archer of the Prophet ﷺ, who fought alongside him ﷺ in almost every battle. Never was an expedition dispatched including Sayyidinaa Zayd رضی الله عنه, except that he was made the commander.

On the day of Taa’if – which the Prophet ﷺ described as the most painful – Sayyidinaa Zayd رضی الله عنه was accepted to be the one by his side, as he protected and guarded the Prophet ﷺ against those who attacked and hurled stones at his ﷺ blessed body. He would continue to defend Islam, until he passed away as a Shaheed in the grounds of Mu’tah in the year 8 AH. He would be honoured with the unique merit of being the only companion of the Prophet ﷺ to be mentioned by name in the Glorious Qur’aan (Surah Al-Ahzaab 33:37). A man who was belittled by the ignorant as a ‘slave’ of lowly status, was elevated by the one whose ‘slave’ he truly was: Allah  سبحانه و تعالی!

Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr رضی الله عنه – The Greatest Companion

After the immediate household of the Prophet ﷺ embraced Islam, the first person to be informed was Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr رضی الله عنه. He رضی الله عنه was blessed with the most virtuous traits that constituted the sublimity of his character: he was extremely wise, intelligent, generous, and soft-hearted. He رضی الله عنه was the Prophet’s ﷺ closest and most devoted friend, his childhood acquaintance and his intimate confidant. Allah  سبحانه و تعالی had drawn their hearts together in a bond of brotherhood that would be unparalleled. Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr’s رضی الله عنه heart was immediately filled with unwavering faith, as he became the first free man to accept Islam.

Without even giving it a second thought, Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr رضی الله عنه enthusiastically proclaimed the oneness of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی, and believed in the Prophet ﷺ:

مَا دَعَوْتُ أَحَدًا إِلَى الإِسْلامِ إِلَّا كَانَتْ فِيهِ عِنْدَهُ كَبْوَةٌ وَنَظَرٌ وَتَرَدُّدٌ إِلَّا مَا كَانَ مِنْ أَبِي بَكْرِ بْنِ أَبِي قُحَافَةَ مَا عَكَمَ عَنْهُ حِينَ ذَكَرْتُهُ لَهُ وَمَا تَرَدَّدَ فِيهِ

“Whoever I presented Islam to, there was always some degree of hesitation, except in the case of Abu Bakr. Without hesitation, he promptly embraced Islam.” (Uyoon Al-Athar)

The light of Imaan (Faith) was so strong in his heart, that he began drawing others to Islam, and was the first person to call people to Allah  سبحانه و تعالی, after the Prophet ﷺ. From this day onwards, he would be the greatest companion of the Prophet ﷺ till his last breath. His entire family accepted Islam, and some of his children became the first to be born in the pure era of Islam. He sacrificed all of his time, energy, devotion, health and wealth to support the Prophet ﷺ. He shed tears and bled for Allah  سبحانه و تعالی. He was honoured to have his daughter Sayyidah Aa’ishah  رضی الله عنها become the wife of the Prophet ﷺ, and praised by Allah  سبحانه و تعالی in the Qur’aan for her purity.

Even in the most critical and discreet moments, he would be second to one – next to the Prophet’s ﷺ. He would be praised in the Qur’aan as the Thaani Ithnayn (Second of the Two) for risking his life with the Prophet ﷺ in the depth of a cave when no one else could. His lmaan in Allah  سبحانه و تعالی and the Prophet ﷺ would soar until it would reach unparalleled heights above the entire Ummah. He would attain the rank of Siddiqiyyah (The Highest State of Imaan), and would forever remain by the side of the Prophet ﷺ in life and in death. رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Uthmaan ibn Affaan رضی الله عنه

Prior to this moment, Sayyidinaa Uthmaan رضی الله عنه was the most beloved youths of Makkah. He was extremely handsome, with an excellent virtue of character. He was blessed with great wealth, and was nicknamed Ghani (Rich). There was barely anyone in his age range that was more handsome, virtuous or rich. During these first few days of the Prophet’s ﷺ mission, Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr رضی الله عنه met with him, and he began to tell Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr رضی الله عنه about an intuition in his heart, which drew him to Muhammad ﷺ. As soon as Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr رضی الله عنه heard, he started telling Sayyidinaa Uthmaan رضی الله عنه about Islam. Allah  سبحانه و تعالی decreed at that very moment, for the Prophet ﷺ to pass by them with Sayyidinaa Ali رضی الله عنه. They immediately rushed to speak with him, and Sayyidinaa Uthmaan’s رضی الله عنه heart suddenly overflowed, bursting with faith that could not be contained, as he said:

“By Allah! The moment I heard this; I was unable to restrain myself. Without any delay, I embraced Islam declaring: ‘I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, He is alone and has no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. (Al-Isabah)

He was blessed with virtues of greatness in both worlds, yet he was immensely humble, shy and modest, such that the Prophet ﷺ would feel more shyness in his presence than any other companion.

He would continue to support the Prophet ﷺ, and become a coolness to his blessed eyes and heart. Allah  سبحانه و تعالی chose him to comfort and relieve His Beloved Prophet ﷺ, in a manner that would bestow him distinction over all of creation.

During this period, the daughters of the Prophet ﷺ – Sayyidah Ruqayyah  رضی الله عنها and Sayyidah Umm Kulthoom  رضی الله عنها – were married to his ﷺ uncle Abu Lahab’s sons Utbah and Utaibah. When the news of the Prophet’s ﷺ message spread, Abu Lahab opposed the Prophet ﷺ so severely that he decided to hurt his own nephew by ordering his sons Utbah and Utaibah to divorce the pure daughters of the Prophet ﷺ. Sayyidah Ruqayyah  رضی الله عنها and Sayyidah Umm Kulthoom  رضی الله عنها were still in the position of being classed as brides, and were divorced before the marriage could be completed. Abu Lahab lived lavishly and his sons were known as two of the wealthiest, most handsome youths Makkah, thus he wished to make this divorce a statement of disgrace, that his sons rejected the daughters of Muhammad ﷺ. Only a father would know the pain of seeing their innocent daughter hurt and made to feel rejected in such a manner.

However, Allah  سبحانه و تعالی sent Sayyidinaa Uthmaan رضی الله عنه to come and propose marriage to the daughter of the Prophet ﷺ, in a powerful declaration of honour. The pure daughter of the Prophet ﷺ would be married to an even wealthier and more handsome youth than the sons of Abu Lahab. Sayyidinaa Uthmaan رضی الله عنه comforted the heart of the Prophet by marrying his daughter Sayyidah Ruqayyah  رضی الله عنها, and loving her in a manner that became an example to follow. He migrated with the daughter of the Prophet ﷺ, leaving everything for the sake of Islam. He stayed behind when everyone left for expeditions, just to look after Sayyidah Ruqayyah  رضی الله عنها. When Sayyidah Ruqayyah  رضی الله عنها passed away, he married the second daughter of the Prophet ﷺ and once again relieved his ﷺ blessed heart. Through this Allah  سبحانه و تعالی bestowed Sayyidinaa Uthmaan  رضی الله عنها would the rank of Dhu Al-Nurayn (The Bearer of Two Lights), being the only man in creation to marry two daughters of a Prophet, and that too – the greatest Prophet of all ﷺ.

Years later, when Sayyidinaa Ali رضی الله عنه was engaged to the youngest daughter of the Prophet ﷺ – Sayyidah Faatimah  رضی الله عنها – Sayyidinaa Uthmaan رضی الله عنه once again supported the Prophet ﷺ  by secretly financing the marriage and the Mahr (Dowry).

Shortly after Sayyidinaa Uthmaan رضی الله عنه, Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr رضی الله عنه brought the following enlightened souls who all accepted Islam together in one sitting:

Sayyidinaa Uthman ibn Maz’oon رضی الله عنه: He was an extremely pure soul that was averse to the alcoholic and immoral practices of Jaahiliyyah (Ignorance). Likewise, his two brothers Sayyidinaa Qudamah ibn Maz’oon رضی الله عنه and Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Maz’oon رضی الله عنه also accepted Islam

Sayyidinaa Abu Ubaidah ibn Al-Jarrah رضی الله عنه: He became a great leader and commander of Islam, and would be honoured as the Ameen (Treasurer) of this Ummah.

Sayyidinaa Abu Salamah رضی الله عنه: He was the milk-brother of the Prophet ﷺ . He was extremely pious and kind-hearted. Years later, when he passed away in Madinah Al-Munawwarah, his children were raised in the household of the Prophet ﷺ, as his own.

Sayyidinaa Arqam ibn Abi Arqam رضی الله عنه: after excepting Islam, he dedicated a house of his – known as Daar Al-Arqam – as the first and primary base for the Prophet ﷺ to privately gather with the Sahaabah. A place to recite the Qur’aan and teach the message of Islam. Many people came and accepted Islam in this blessed house, which now became the first Madrasah of the Prophet ﷺ.

Sayydinaa Saa’d ibn Abi Waqqas رضی الله عنه

Sayydinaa Saa’d رضی الله عنه says: “Three nights before embracing Islam I saw a dream; I was in an appallingly intense darkness. It was so dark that I could not see anything. Suddenly, a moon appeared and I started following behind it. To my amazement, I observed that Zayd bin Haarithah, Ali and Abu Bakr have already preceded me to its light.” The moment he awoke, Allah SWT placed it in his heart to go to the Prophet ﷺ and enquire. Upon meeting with the Prophet ﷺ, he accepted Islam.

Sayyidinaa Khaalid ibn Sa’eed رضی الله عنه and his wife Sayyidah Umaynah  رضی الله عنها

He was as earliest as the fourth or fifth person to embrace Islam. Allah  سبحانه و تعالی led him to the Prophet ﷺ  via a premonition of the day of Judgement shown in a dream. Whilst asleep he dreamt that he was standing at the edge of a gigantic pit of endless flames. To his shock, his own father appeared behind him and suddenly rushed to push him in to this blazing inferno. As the shocking push came to catapult him into this terrifying abyss, the Prophet ﷺ suddenly appeared before them and quickly caught Sayyidinaa Khaalid رضی الله عنه by the waist, saving him from the fire.

Sayyidinaa Khaalid رضی الله عنه awoke with his heart filled with an intuition, and instantly said: ‘By Allah! This dream is true.’ He rushed to Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr رضی الله عنه and spoke to him about his dream, then went to the Prophet ﷺ  and accepted Islam, and likewise his blessed wife Sayyidah Umaynah  رضی الله عنها.

When his father came to know, he tortured and beat his own son so severely, that the stick being used broke whilst inciting a deep cut into his head. Yet, his heart remained firm upon the oneness of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی.

The Family of Sayyidinaa Ammar ibn Yaasir رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Yaasir رضی الله عنه and Sayyidah Sumayyah  رضی الله عنها were enslaved in Makkah and married to each other during their slavery. They were then ‘freed’ on face-value, but this favour of ‘freedom’ was imposed upon them until they became enslaved by this ‘debt’ and continued being treated as slaves by their masters. The likes of corrupt leaders such as Abu Jahl ibn Hisham would ensure they would always be reminded of their ‘lowly’ status in society, so they could never feel normal like the rest of them. Their son Sayyidinaa ‘Ammar رضی الله عنه was only a teenager when the Prophet ﷺ received Nuboowwah, and within days Allah  سبحانه و تعالی drew all three of them to Daar Al-Arqam where they accepted Islam. They were amongst the first to accept the faith, and amongst the first to endure severe oppression for doing so. Sayyidah Sumayyah  رضی الله عنها would become the first martyr of Islam, followed by Sayyidinaa Yaasir رضی الله عنه, whilst their teenage son would show extreme patience and stay by the side of the Prophet ﷺ for the rest of his life, honouring the legacy of his parents.

Sayyidinaa Bilaal ibn Rabah رضی الله عنه – Honoured by Love

Sayyidinaa Bilaal رضی الله عنه was from the African land of Abyssinia, and was brought to Makkah as a slave. As well as being oppressively mistreated and overworked as a slave, he was also racially discriminated by those who could not see the beauty of his skin colour. His pure heart was amongst the first to be guided to Islam and was filled absolutely unwavering love for Allah  سبحانه و تعالی and his Messenger ﷺ. He would be tortured to unthinkable depths at the hands of his masters, and when he was finally purchased and freed from such slavery by Sayyidina Abu Bakr رضی الله عنه, his heart yearned to be honoured as the ‘Abd (Slave) of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی and the Khaadim (Servant) of the Prophet ﷺ whom he dearly loved. The Prophet ﷺ loved him and raised his rank until he was appointed as the first and greatest Mu’addhin (Announcer of the Adhaan (The Call to Prayer)). His corrupt ‘masters’ such as Umayyah ibn Khalaf had degraded him to a ‘slave’, but the Prophet ﷺ honoured him until all the Sahaabah dearly loved him and revered him as ‘Sayyidinaa’ (Our Master) Bilaal رضی الله عنه.

In addition to them, the following blessed souls were led to the Prophet ﷺ and guided to Islam one by one during these early days:

Sayyidinaa Jaafar ibn Abi Taalib رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Zubair ibn Al-Awwam رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Abdullah ibn Mas’ood رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Abdur Rahman ibn Awf رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Afif Kindi رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Talha رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Suhaib ibn Sinaan رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Amr ibn ‘Abasah رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Abu Dharr Al-Ghifaari رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Khabbaab ibn Al-Arrat رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Umayr ibn Abi Waqqas رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Aamir ibn Fuhayra رضی الله عنه

Sayyidinaa Sa’eed ibn Zayd رضی الله عنه

Sayyidah Faatimah bint Al-Khattab  رضی الله عنها

Sayyidah ‘Asma bint Abi Bakr  رضی الله عنها

As these blessed souls continued to grow, and become the first to stand beside the Prophet ﷺ, the light of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی) began to flourish. By day, the devils of flesh continued to darken Makkah, upholding the practices of Jaahiliyyah, and meeting in Daar Al-Nadwah (The Parliamentary Lair of the Leaders) to pursue their greed of worldly status and riches. By night, Makkah would become illuminated, as the Radiant Moon ﷺ would rise whilst his shining stars would risk their lives to gather around him ﷺ, and uphold the pure teachings of Islam, as they gathered in the blessed Daar Al-Arqam to pursue the life of the Aakhirah (Hereafter).  

Consequently, it is these people who would be the first to achieve the greatest triumph, for whom Allah  سبحانه و تعالی has prepared as eternal abode of bliss. They are those with whom Allah would be pleased, and whom would be please with Allah the Almighty.

May Allah  سبحانه و تعالی bless them even further and guide us to emulate their ways! Ameen Ya Rabb Al ‘Aalameen!

Join us tomorrow as we continue with our next article: “Daar Al-Arqam & The Secret Call”

#17: The Cave of Hira: The Prelude to Prophethood

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

After the rebuilding of the Blessed Kaa’bah, the people of Makkah had rejoiced and upgraded their preparations for pilgrims, traders and tourists alike. The newly restored structure of the Kaa’bah was perceived as a great new milestone for Makkah and a historic moment to rejoice. However, the immediate ground surrounding the Kaa’bah was still pierced by nails of stone in the form of idols. The blessed precincts of the Haram had become a home for the “Daar Al-Nadwah”, a parliamentary-house wherein the corrupt leaders of Makkah would meet, plot and discuss matters of their concern. The marketplaces were still stocked with deceit and exploitation. The cold, rough streets had become bedding for the impoverished, whilst the houses of the elite had become taverns and brothels of immorality. The walls of the Kaa’bah may have been damaged and renewed, but the very soul and essence of Makkah was in even greater disrepair, and desperately in need of restoration.

The Pinnacle Age

Two years had now passed since the rebuilding of the Kaa’bah, and the Prophet ﷺ was now thirty-seven years old. He ﷺ was now approaching the age of peak-human form, wherein a person’s physical and mental faculties reach their pinnacle:

حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُۥ وَبَلَغَ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةًۭ

“…till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years…” (Surah Al-Ahqaaf 46:15)

For almost four decades, he ﷺ would have to bear the constant rush of voices chanting statements of Shirk (Paganism), the sinister laughter of corrupt leaders, the cries of the weak and impoverished, and the screams of tortured slaves that endlessly reverberated throughout Makkah.

As he ﷺ grew older, these evil and unlawful practices became severer in his sight, and more intolerable to his pure heart. Such practices are constricting upon the heart and burdening upon the soul. Imaan (Faith) expands one’s heart in the vastness of Allah’s remembrance and worship, whilst Shirk (Paganism), Kufr (Disbelief) and Maa’siyah (Disobedience) burden the heart with darkness. Thus, a heart filled with Imaan feels free amidst the remembrance of Allahسبحانه و تعالی, and feels uncomfortable amidst idols and the mention of false-deities. It feels expanded in the presence of good deeds, and constricted in the presence of sin. Thus, the Prophet ﷺ taught us in a hadith:

الْبِرُّ مَا اطْمَأَنَّتْ إِلَيْهِ النَّفْسُ وَاطْمَأَنَّ إِلَيْهِ الْقَلْبُ وَالْإِثْمُ مَا حَاكَ فِي النَّفْسِ وَتَرَدَّدَ فِي الصَّدْرِ وَإِنْ أَفْتَاكَ النَّاسُ

“Piety is that with which the soul is tranquil and the heart is tranquil, but sin is that which rouses suspicion in the soul and is perplexing in the chest, even if people give you a decision in its favour.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Furthermore, the feeling of such repulsion in the presence of evil is the baseline of Imaan, as the Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said:

مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الإِيمَانِ ‏

”Whoever amongst you sees something evil should rectify it by his hand; and if he is unable to do so, , then with his tongue, and if he is unable to do so, then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the weakest (degree) of faith.” (Sahih Muslim)

The Prelude to Prophethood

In addition to this, an unstoppable force was illuminating his heart, a force that could not yet be qualified or understood, but was a prelude to an imminent realisation that would soon transpire. As this luminous force within him collided against the dark forces of Jaahiliyyah (Ignorance) around him, his heart felt increasingly constricted.

This led the Prophet ﷺ to an increasingly deep state of contemplation. He ﷺ was now entering in to the first prelude of Nuboowwah (Prophethood), just as the prophets before him had experienced. He ﷺ found himself in the same position as Sayyidinaa Ibraahim علیه السلام, whose search to decode the luminous force within his heart led him atop a mountain, as he sat in contemplation, gazing upon the vastness of the Universe.

The twinkling of the stars, the radiance of the moon, and the grandeur of the sun that overpowered it were all signs of majesty that led Sayyidinaa Ibraahim علیه السلام through the path of discovery. Until his heart was opened by the luminous force within him that could no longer be contained. That which was Al-Baatin (Concealed) by these glimpses of majesty had become Al-Zaahir (Manifest) as he recognised the force within his heart was a yearning love for the Lord of the Worlds! He who is Al-Rahmaan (The Most-Gracious), He is Al-Raheem (The Most Merciful), He is Al-Khaaliq (The Creator of All), He is Al-Baatin (The Concealed), He is Al-Zaahir (The Manifest), He is the question and He is the answer. He is Allah! There is no god, no truth, nor reality but Him! (Ibn Katheer, Surah Al-An’aam 6:79)

As Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ entered into this phase, Allah سبحانه و تعالی guided him to depart from the whirlwind of Jaahiliyyah, and come out in search of a station of serenity. This search led the Prophet ﷺ to seek the Cave of Hira…

The Cave of Hira

The Cave of Hira was situated in a mountain on the outskirts of Makkah. It was the cave first deployed by his grandfather – Abdul-Muttalib – as a fortress of solitude against the ills that plagued over the blessed city Makkah. (Ibn Al Atheer)

The Prophet ﷺ – after consultation with his beloved wife and family – began retreating to the Cave of Hira for a number of days at a time. Sayyidah Khadijahرضی الله عنها would stand by his ﷺ side, supporting him through this phase, packing provisions for his stay and regularly checking up on him out of love and care. He ﷺ would also frequent her and his family without ever neglecting them. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Ibn Ishaaq, Ibn Hishaam)

The next three years would see the Prophet ﷺ increase his stay in the cave, as the plague of ignorance hovering over Makkah intensified, all the way until the Prophet ﷺ reached the age of forty.

The Age of Prophecy

As the month of Rabi’ul Awwal, 610 AD came to a close, the Prophet ﷺ was now forty-years old and had reached the age of peak-human condition. He ﷺ continued retreating to the Cave of Hira. Here the Prophet ﷺ – as narrated by Sayyidah Aa’ishah رضی الله عنها – would sit in the serenity of silence – free from the echoes of ignorance – and engage in deep contemplation and reflection. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Ibn Ishaaq, Ibn Hisham)

However, the Prophet ﷺ began experiencing something new, something different, that was extra-ordinary and inexplainable. He ﷺ saw a pattern, where he would witness an incident in a dream, only to experience it in reality. His dreams in the night transpired into a reality amidst broad daylight, just as the crack of dawn undeniably splits through the night and forms the day. (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

The signs of his arrival had now started transpiring through the spiritual realm, and manifesting into our world. A magnitude of positive energies, Noor (Light), Barakah (Blessings) and Rahma (Mercy) were descending from the heavens, permeating the earth’s atmosphere. Both the Malaa’ikah (Angels) and Jinns alike witnessed this, including the Shayaateen (Devils) that were now trembling as they rushed down from the spatial barrier of the first heaven, plummeting down towards earth to warn their soothsayers. (Ibn Ishaaq, Ibn Hisham)

As these signs continued to manifest, the Prophet ﷺ began experiencing another strange phenomenon. The innocent and inanimate creatures of Allah سبحانه و تعالی began rejoicing at the imminent arrival of the Prophet ﷺ. He ﷺ was walking through the valleys of Makkah – en route to the mountain – when the sound of voices arose amidst the serene silence. The Prophet ﷺ would hear the following words echoing around him:

السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللّٰهِ

“Peace be upon you! O Messenger of Allah!”

When he ﷺ would look around, he would see nothing besides stones and trees. There would not be a single person present amidst the hosts of voices greeting him. This overwhelming experience continued until the Prophet ﷺ recognised that the stones and trees themselves were greeting him out of love and reverence. Years later, the Prophet ﷺ stated that he ﷺ could recognise those innocent stones that would greet him with Salaam. (Sahih Muslim, Ibn Hishaam, Ibn Ishaaq)

If this is the state of a stone, what rank will a believer’s heart reach when it sincerely sends Salaam to Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ with love and reverence?

صلی الله علیه و سلم

The Night of Power

These phenomena continued to occur and increase in frequency over a period of six months. Until one powerful night – during the month of Ramadhan – the Prophet ﷺ was in the solitude of the cave, when something amazing happened. He ﷺ was in the serenity of silence, when an astonishing sight suddenly flashed before his blessed eyes. The Prophet ﷺ witnessed a totally overwhelming sight, that was about to change his life, forever…

To find out what happens next, join us tomorrow for our next article: “The Arrival of Jibra’eel علیه السلام“

#12: Hilf Al-Fudhool: Rebuilding Makkah

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

In the aftermath of the Harb Al-Fujjar (The Sacrilegious Wars), Makkah was left in an even greater paradox. On the one hand, a vast majority of lives were negatively impacted and left amidst the post-war ruins. Whilst on the other hand, the rich and elite continued to enjoy their lives of luxury. Just as they ravished their extravagant meals without the slightest consideration for the blood, sweat and toil of the slaves who prepared them, they were also completely oblivious of the consequences and suffering that resulted from their feuds and battles.

Amidst, the blood-shed, broken homes, suspended livelihoods, elevated poverty levels, numerous orphans and countless widows, Makkah was desperately in need of a welfare system to restore families and re-build lives. These were the circumstances amidst which the Prophet ﷺ was entering into his youth, during the latter-half of his teenage years.

A New Generation Forms

Born of noble and aristocratic blood, the Prophet ﷺ was classed as part of the new generation of elites forming. Lavish silk-brocades, designer-apparel and imported accessories adorned the privileged sons of Makkah’s nobles and chieftains. From a host of servants, extravagant meals, and luxury-conveyances, they lived in the spoils of their father’s riches, inheriting their pride, their arrogance and their elitist mindset. They would spend their days enjoying frivolous sports and material-pleasures, riding through Makkah on expensive stallions without a care or concern. Their sole concern – besides indulging themselves into the ways of their fathers – was to grow into the family business of self-centred leadership, dishonest trade and relentless exploitation. They had no concern for the needs of those devoid of their riches and status, and their charitable endeavours were covered by their father’s “public displays” of generosity.

However, there still remained – amongst this new generation – a group of youths that were silently distinct from the spectacle of the rest. Those who – at varying grades – did not completely walk in the shade of their fathers, possessing an air of humility and sincerity as the traits of Kufr and Jahiliyyah (Ignorance) had not cemented within their hearts.

Beyond them all, Our Beloved Master Muhammad ﷺ was uniquely different from each and every one of them. Allah سبحانه و تعالی ensured His beloved ﷺ was completely free from all of the negative traits that adorned the youth of his generation. His heart was absolutely pure, filled with humility and sincerity. He lived in simplicity with his uncle and aunt, grateful and appreciative of whatever food and clothing was available. He worked hard and brought a great sense of Barakah to their household. His intellect reached a level of maturity and sensibility that exceeded all in his age-range, a quality that he ﷺ displayed since infancy as Sayyidah Haleemah رضی الله عنها narrates. (Al-Khasaais Al-Kubra, Mawaahib Al-Ladunniyyah)

Despite also being from the aristocratic families of Makkah, the Prophet ﷺ would never look down upon the poor and destitute. In a time where people were discriminated due to race, tribe, social-class and wealth, he ﷺ would treat all with mercy, equity and justice. He ﷺ would never take the right of another, but rather strive to fulfil the rights and needs of others.

Hilf Al-Fudhool: “The Pact of the Virtuous”

A brilliant example of his ﷺ unique excellence over the entirety of his generation is seen during the immediate aftermath of the sacrilegious wars. Whilst the Prophet ﷺ had shown no support to the injustice and motives of the conflict – with some narrations reporting his total exclusion from engaging at any level – he ﷺ was at the forefront when it came to restoring the lives destroyed by it.

Zubair ibn Abdul-Muttalib – the uncle of the Prophet ﷺ – led the initiation of a special conference after the post-war situation of Makkah, to discuss the need for a welfare system that could protect the honour and rights of the oppressed.

The conference was held at the vast quarters of Abdullah ibn Jad’aan, who was an extremely wealthy and generous individual. A coalition was formed between the various tribal leaders and representatives to ensure that justice would always be served in the right of the oppressed, whether they be from Makkah or not. This pact was then known as “Hilf Al-Fudhool” (The Pact of the Virtuous).

Whilst all of these senior leaders, wealthy statesmen and wise elders came together, a young teenage boy stood amidst them to witness the formation of this virtuous endeavour.

The Prophet ﷺ stood – as a teenager – amidst great, wealthy elders, without possessing any form of wealth or position, only a world full of mercy and ambition brimming from his young heart. He ﷺ was determined to empower the weak and impoverished, to protect the rights of the innocent, and to uphold justice in the face of the exploitation Makkah’s elite practiced all too freely.

He ﷺ said in regards to this:

لَقَدْ شَهِدْت فِي دَارِ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ جُدْعَانَ حِلْفًا، مَا أُحِبّ أَنّ لِي بِهِ حُمْرَ النّعَمِ وَلَوْ أُدْعَى بِهِ فِي الْإِسْلَامِ لَأَجَبْت”

“I witnessed a pact in the quarters of Abdullah ibn Jad’aan, I would not (even) love (to have) Red Camels in exchange for (my witnessing) it, and were I to be invited to it in Islam (i.e now after Nuboowwah), I would certainly accept!” (Ibn Ishaaq)

Here the reference to “Red Camels” is the seventh-century equivalent of what we may now refer to as the sleekest new “Red-Speedster”. Thus, the Prophet ﷺ is powerfully stating that he would even reject an entire group of the most expensive commodities, just so he ﷺ could take part in aiding and assisting others.

Subhaanallah! Such was the heart of the Prophet ﷺ. In a world full of greed, a hoard of Red Camels meant nothing to the one who was indeed sent as a mercy for the worlds. From this we can see that even from an early age, the Prophet ‎ﷺ was deeply concerned about upholding justice, fulfilling the rights of others, and assisting those in need…

May Allah سبحانه و تعالی bless the pure heart of Our Prophet ﷺ, and bestow us with hearts that live to uphold justice, fulfil the rights we owe, and assist those in need… Ameen Yaa Rabbal ‘Aalameen.

Join us tomorrow, as we continue with our next article in the blessed Seerah: “The Most Beautiful Man

#9: In the Guardianship of Abu Taalib

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

After entering into this world without his ﷺ father, and witnessing the burial of his mother as a six-year-old child, Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ was now only eight-years-old and had also witnessed the funeral procession of his ﷺ grandfather; Abdul-Muttalib. Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ was now living in this world, without a home of his own, without anything or anyone to call his own. At this young and tender age, it felt as though he ﷺ had now become alone this world, living as a transitory guest in the home of relatives. It was experiences like these that prepared the Prophet ﷺ to internalise the fleeting reality of this world, and never get attached to its temporary luxuries. Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said:

كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّكَ غَرِيْبٌ أَوْ عَابِرُ سَبِيْلٍ

“Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a traveller.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

It also prepared the Prophet’s ﷺ pure heart to truly feel the sorrow of those who feel alone and abandoned in this world. A heart that would never allow orphans to feel they had no one to care for them. A heart that would never let those who were weak and impoverished feel hopeless. A heart that would attend to those whom society had singled out in the heat of prejudice and superiority. A heart that knew what it was like for them to feel they had no one to say انَا لهم  “I am here for them”.

But it was those beautiful souls that Allah سبحانه و تعالی had chosen to enter into the life of his Habeeb Al-Mustafa ﷺ, with hearts full of love and care for him. Those who would show him what it felt like to have someone come to your aid in times of fear and uncertainty, and say – when it feels like there is no one out there for you – انا له “I am here for him ﷺ”. It was these experiences that fortified the pure heart of the Prophet ﷺ with such ambition, that throughout his entire life, he would never allow anyone to feel alone in his presence. An ambition that transcends beyond this earth and beyond this time of ours, to the final hour when all of humanity will say نفسی نفسی “I need to care for myself, for myself!”, and the entire Ummah will be in a state of fear and uncertainty. At that critical hour, it will only and only be his ﷺ heart, that will rise and say انا لها “I am here for them!”.

Imaam Busairi رحمة الله علیه beautifully mentions this in his Burdah:

يَـا أَكْرَمَ الْخَلْقِ مَا لِي مَنْ أَلُوذُ بِهِ
سِـوَاكَ عِنْـدَ حُلُولِ الْحَادِثِ الْعَمِمِ

“O Most Noble of All Creation!, what refuge do I have but you!
When it’s the coming of the universal tragedy?

وَلَنْ يَضِيقَ رَسُـولَ اللهِ جَاهُكَ بِي
إِذَا الْكَرِيمُ تَجَلَّى بِــاسْمِ مُنْتَقِـمِ

O Messenger of Allah, your rank will not reduce for me.
even when The Generous manifests His punishing quality

(Qaseedah Burdah)

Abu Taalib – the Prophet’s ﷺ Dear Uncle

From amongst those whom Allah سبحانه و تعالی had chosen to give him ﷺ special care and love, was the Prophet’s ﷺ uncle Abu Taalib, and his wife Sayyidah Fatimah bint Asad رضی الله عنها. They were parents of the great legions of this Ummah, such as Sayyidinaa ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib RA, and Sayyidinaa Jaa’far ibn Abi Taalib RA. In his final moments, the grandfather of the Prophet ﷺ had bequeathed the responsibility of his ﷺ guardianship to Abu Taalib, who took upon this responsibility with all his heart and soul for the rest of his life. From this point onwards, Abu Taalib would sincerely take it upon himself to be the primary guardian, father-figure, protector, and friend to the Prophet ﷺ for the next 42 years.

Abu Taalib took the Prophet ﷺ into his home and loved him dearly, even more than his own children. He would keep the Prophet ﷺ by his side at all times, give him preference over his own family and his own self, feed him with love and clothe him with compassion. The Prophet’s ﷺ presence into Abu Taalib’s home brought great barakah and bounty. The household of Abu Taalib would not eat without the Prophet ﷺ, saying that they found such increase and barakah in his presence, and they would feel satiated in their meals when he ﷺ ate with them. (Ibn Saa’d)

Abu Taalib would endeavour to support and assist his beloved nephew at any cost, and serve his mission to the extent that every true believer would yearn to be accepted for such service and assistance to the Prophet ﷺ.

Mercy Descends upon the skies of Makkah

During this time, Makkah was faced by a drought and the people were desperate for rain. Abu Taalib was approached by a group of people to arrange a mass prayer for rain in the Masjid Al-Haram. Abu Taalib agreed, and as he walked out with the procession, some people began gazing upon the face of the Prophet ﷺ who was walking alongside Abu Taalib. The countenance of his face was so striking – filled with an angelic innocence and purity – that the travelers began wondering: “Who is this beautiful child?”.

As they entered the haram and approached the Kaa’bah, the people began flowing in until the haram was filled. Abu Taalib then initiated the supplication for rain and the people followed suit. After earnestly supplicating and imploring for a period of time, there was still no rain, and the people began losing hope. As they started lowering their hands from supplication, a man amongst them suddenly saw a small cloud forming in the sky, and when he looked directly beneath it, he was amazed to see that Abu Taalib’s nephew had raised his beautiful face to the sky. As the man looked back and forth between the rapidly forming cloud and the face of this pure child gazing up to the heavens, he was completely taken aback.

The clouds began to multiply as the people looked up in amazement, uplifted from their disheartened states. Within moments the clouds had turned grey, and raindrops began descending. Abu Taalib looked up in shock and then looked down to see the beautiful face of his nephew honoring the heavens with his gaze. The rain then began pouring down profusely, and continued until streams began to form around Makkah. In awe of this sight those, who had witnessed the underlying factor of this blessed rain rushed to Abu Taalib, enquiring as to who this special child was, whose face had captivated the heavens. It was in regards to this that Abu Taalib had compiled some poetic stanzas about his beloved nephew:

وأبيض يَسْتَسْقِي الْغَمَام بِوَجْهِهِ
ثمال الْيَتَامَى عصمَة للأرامل

“The clouds are irrigated by his ﷺ illuminated face,
He ﷺ is a beacon for orphans and for widows.”

(Ibn Asakir, Khasaais Al-Kubra)

Such was the nobility of his beautiful face, and the reality of the beautiful clouds that formed upon his gaze throughout his life, whenever drought struck – as the narrations report – on multiple occasions. Rather, this was something that transcended beyond his physical worldly life. Years after the Prophet ﷺ had passed away, the people of Madinah Al-Munawwarah faced a drought and sought rain. They expressed their concern to Sayyidah Aa’ishah رضی الله عنها – seeking a solution – and she رضی الله عنها said:

انْظُرُوا قَبْرَ النَّبِيِّ  صلى الله عليه وسلم  فَاجْعَلُوا مِنْهُ كِوًى إِلَى السَّمَاءِ حَتَّى لاَ يَكُونَ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ سَقْفٌ

“Look at the grave of the Prophet ﷺ and make an opening facing the sky, so that there will be no barrier between him and the sky.”

Once they did this, Allah سبحانه و تعالی showered his mercy upon the people of Madinah with bountiful rain, until their plants flourished and their camels grew exceedingly fat, and it was called the year of the exceedingly fat animals. (Musnad Ad-Daarimi)

Sayyidah Fatimah bint Asad رضی الله عنها

In addition to Abu Taalib, his wife Sayyidah Fatimah bint Asad رضی الله عنها also showed great love and motherly care to the innocent child she felt immense mercy for, even above her own children. She would feed the Prophet ﷺ and clothe him ﷺ with such love, that it became etched in his blessed heart for the rest of his life. He ﷺ would find comfort in her arms and a world of love in her heart. Decades later, when she رضی الله عنها passed away, the Prophet ﷺ displayed just how deeply she touched his blessed heart. Our Prophet ﷺ, rose to the news of her passing with an aching heart and tears flowing from his blessed eyes. During her burial, he ﷺ took his blessed shirt – which touched his pure skin – and made it as a shroud for her to be blessed and protected in her grave. He ﷺ painfully sat by her head side and emotionally stated:

رحمك الله يا أمي، كنت أمي بعد أمي وتشبعيني وتعريني وتكسيني وتمنعين نفسك طيِّبًا وتطعميني، تريدين بذلك وجه الله والدار الآخرة

“May Allah have mercy upon you, O My Mother! You were my mother after my own mother. You stayed hungry but fed me, you stayed without clothes but clothed me. You deprived yourself of luxuries to feed me, intending by that the pleasure of Allah, and the abode of the hereafter” (Tabarani)

Before her burial, the Prophet ﷺ lay down in her grave and sincerely made Du’aa, beseeching Allah سبحانه و تعالی for her.

May Allah سبحانه و تعالی shower us with his mercy and assistance, through our connection with the beautiful face of his Habeeb Al-Mustafa ﷺ!

Join us tomorrow for our next article: “Bahira: The Monk”

#6: Return to Makkah

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

A Home Filled with Love

After returning from Banu Saa’d, Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ was now once again in the homeland of his father – Makkah Al-Mukarramah. He ﷺ lived with his loving and affectionate mother – Sayyidah Aaminah رضی الله عنها – waking up to her blessed smile each day as she cherished him dearly as the joy of her heart. Accompanying them in this beautiful home was his father’s maid-servant Barakah رضی الله عنها – also known as Umm Ayman – a blessed woman from the African lands of Abyssinia who was chosen by Allah سبحانه وتعالی to play a significant role in the upbringing of his Beloved Messenger ﷺ. He ﷺ would refer to her as his mother after his own mother (Ibn Asakir), and she was honoured by the Prophet ﷺ in her later years with the title of a “woman of Jannah” (Ibn Saa’d).

During the day, his ﷺ grandfather – Abdul Muttalib – would take his beloved grandson and constantly keep him close by his side, with great love and affection that was apparent to all. Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ grew and developed, blossoming like the most beautiful flower under the care of his mother and grandfather.

وَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَعَ أُمِّهِ آمِنَةَ بِنْتِ وَهْبٍ وَجَدِّهِ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ بْنِ هَاشِمٍ فِي كَلَاءَةِ اللَّهِ وَحِفْظِهِ، يُنْبِتُهُ اللَّهُ نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا لِمَا يُرِيدُ بِهِ مِنْ كَرَامَتِهِ

And the Messenger of Allah ﷺ stayed with his mother Aminah, the daughter of Wahb, and his grandfather Abdul-Muttalib in the care and trust of Allah, and Allah nurtured him like a fine plant for the honour He intended for him” (Ibn Ishaq)

Family Bonds

During this time, he ﷺ also became closely acquainted with his family, his uncles and his aunts, all of whom were extremely fond of him. Our Prophet ﷺ developed a special bond with Sayyidinaa Hamzah ibn Abdul-Muttalib رضی الله عنه and Sayyidah Safiyyah bint Abdul-Muttalib, who were of similar age as the Prophet ﷺ and enjoyed each other’s company during these childhood years.

Purity of Heart

In a town surrounded by people who were worshipping idols and newly-fashioned deities by the day, his ﷺ pure heart was only and solely inclined to Al-Ahad (The One) who was the Pre-Eternal, Ever-Living Lord of the Worlds, the one who sent him as his Final Messenger ﷺ, to revive his remembrance in the hearts of man.

Thus, Allah سبحانه وتعالی protected the Prophet ﷺ from all forms of Shirk and idolatry, as well as the evil practices of Jahiliyyah. His ﷺ heart was divinely guided upon the Fitrah (The Primordial Nature) that was upon the pure way of Sayyidinaa Ibrahim AS (Ibn Hisham, Rooh Al-Ma’aani).

The Legacy of Ibrahim علیه السلام

Whilst Makkah Al-Mukarramah remained under the dark shadow of Jahiliyyah, The Prophet ﷺ walked through the streets of Makkah, illuminating them – without a shadow or a doubt – as the legacy of his forefather Sayyidinaa Ibrahim علیه السلام. Whilst the city of Makkah and the blessed Kaa’bah were undoubtedly the hallmark of Sayyidinaa Ibrahim علیه السلام, this pure innocent boy enlightening its streets would ultimately be the one who would liberate it, and revive the Millatu Ibrahim (The Monotheistic Way of Ibrahim علیه السلام) throughout the world. Our Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said in a beautiful narration:

أَنَا دَعْوَةُ أَبِي إبْرَاهِيمَ، وَبُشْرَى أَخِي عِيسَى، وَرَأَتْ أُمّي حِينَ حَمَلَتْ بِي أَنّهُ خَرَجَ مِنْهَا نُورٌ أَضَاءَ لَهَا قُصُورَ الشّامِ

I am the supplication of my father Ibrahim علیه السلام, and the glad-tidings of my brother ‘Isa علیه السلام, and my mother saw light emanating from within her at my birth, that illuminated the palaces of Syria” (Musnad Ahmad)

A Destiny of Greatness

Thus, the spark of this great change began twinkling in these early years, foreshadowing the advent of Nubuwwah. He ﷺ would enter the haram, and his heart would become instantly averse to the idols that surrounded it, whilst at the same time his blessed heart was filled with pure love and reverence for the Kaa’bah whenever he witnessed it. In addition to this, there was a special seating laid out for his ﷺ grandfather Abdul-Muttalib – in the direct shade of the Kaa’bah – which was placed as a station of honour for the senior leader of the city. None would dare to have the audacity of approaching this elite seating out of reverence for Abdul-Muttalib, not even his own sons. Yet, as an innocent child who was extremely beloved to his grandfather, he ﷺ once approached this esteemed seating and sat upon the place where no man dare seat himself. Seeing this scene, the uncles of the Prophet ﷺ rushed in fear to remove him ﷺ from this seat, when Abdul-Muttalib entered and powerfully declared:

دَعُوْا ابْنِي، فَوَ اللهِ إنَّ لَهُ لَشَأْنًا

Leave my son! By Allah! Greatness is destined for him!” (Ibn Hisham)

May Allah سبحانه وتعالی grant us the light and purity of Tawheed in our hearts and protect us and our children from the evils that surround us.

Join us tomorrow as we continue with the blessed Seerah with our next article: “Journey to Abwa”

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